An escape pod bearing human remains alerts Lister and the others to the presence of an Earth ship, the S.S. Samsara, which crashed into the ocean of a nearby planet. Starbug is dispatched to investigate, finding that the Samsara was testing a new engine, the Karma Drive, deriving its energy from its crew’s treatment of one another. But two people who were aboard the Samsara, old flames who were each now married to other people, threw the Karma Drive out of balance by reigniting their relationship…and then tried to reprogram the Karma Drive so they could continue doing so. Even though they are long dead, their inept reprogramming is a very real danger to the crew of Red Dwarf.
Cast: Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Dan Tetsell (Green), Maggie Service (Barker), Eddie Bagayawa (Captain Tom Kadri)
Notes: The word “samsara” originates from the Sanskrit language, referring to a cycle of life, death, and reincarnation, and is related to the concept of karma, hence its connection to this episode’s Karma Drive. The Karma Drive uses technology derived from Justice World, a space station encountered in the fourth season episode Justice (1989). Red Dwarf once again features a former Hyperdrive cast member; Maggie Service was the unseen voice of the HMS Camden Lock’s ever-cheerful on-board intercom announcer in that series.
LogBook entry by Earl Green